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2019 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

3. Tribe and Tribalism: The Trojan Horse of GCC States?

Author: Maryam Al-Kuwari

Published in: Divided Gulf

Publisher: Springer Singapore

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Abstract

This chapter looks at the important role of the tribe in the modern history of the GCC. Tribes have been influenced by the sweeping developments that have influenced the region, including rapid modernization, the wars in the Gulf, the Arab Spring, and most recently, the GCC crisis. Al Kuwari claims that these events have tested the existence, structure, functionality and relevance of the tribe within the modern state and on the regional levels in multiple ways. In some cases, moreover, tribes have also been at the core of political challenges and crises facing the state. Not so long ago, the tribe was a central social, economic and political unit in Gulf communities, and it was even a core component in the process of state building in the modern state in the region. This chapter intends to answer whether the tribe has become the weak link? Or even worse, has the tribe become a Trojan horse that undermines the legitimacy and stability of the state?

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Footnotes
1
Castells, M. (2000). Globalisation, Identity and the State. Social Dynamics, 26:1 (p. 7).
 
2
Bodley, J. (2017). Cultural Anthropology: Tribes, States and the Global System. New York: Rowman & Littlefield (p. 225).
 
3
Ibid.
 
4
Castells, ‘Globalization’ (p. 11).
 
5
Lukitz, L. (1995). Iraq: The Search for National Identity. London: Frank Cass (p. 2).
 
6
Ibid. (p. 3).
 
7
Smith, A. (1996). Culture, Country and Territory: The Politics of Ethnicity and Nationalism. International Affairs, 72:3 (pp. 445–446).
 
8
Hobsbawm, E. (1997). Introduction: Inventing Traditions. In E. Hobsbawm and T. Ranger (eds.). The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (p. 1).
 
9
Alshawi, A. and Gardner, A. (2013). Tribalism, Identity and Citizenship in Contemporary Qatar. Anthropology of the Middle East, 8:2 (p. 52).
 
10
Cole, D. (1982). Tribal and Non-tribal Structures Among the Bedouin of Saudi Arabia. Al-Abhath, 30 (p. 79).
 
11
Al-Ghithami, A. (2009). Tribe and Tribalism or Postmodern Identities [translated by author]. Casablanca, Morocco: Arab Cultural Center.
 
12
Eickelman. D. (2016). Tribes and Tribal Identity in the Arab Gulf States. In J.E. Peterson (ed.). The Emergence of the Gulf States. London: Bloomsbury (pp. 223–240).
 
13
Al-Ghithami, ‘Tribe and Tribalism’ (p. 231).
 
14
Mutairi, H. (2011). Slaves Without Chains. Liberty and Identity Crisis in the Gulf & Arab Peninsula [My Translation]. Unpublished Manuscript.
 
15
Al-Ghithami, ‘Tribe and Tribalism’ (p. 225).
 
16
Ibid. (p. 213).
 
17
Ibid. (p. 226).
 
18
Ibid. (p. 230).
 
19
Khalaf, S. (2000). Politics and Policies of Newly Invented Traditions in the Gulf: Camel Racing in the United Arab Emirates. Ethnology, 39:3 (p. 256).
 
20
Al-Shawi and Gardner, ‘Tribalism, Identity & Citizenship’ (p. 56).
 
21
Ibid. (pp. 56–57).
 
22
Peterson, J. (2018). Tribe and State in the Contemporary Arabian Peninsula. London School of Economics, MEC Blog. Available at http://​blogs.​lse.​ac.​uk/​mec/​2018/​07/​12/​tribe-and-state-in-the-contemporary-arabian-peninsula/​.
 
23
Patrick, N. (2012). Nationalism in the Gulf States. In D. Held and K. Ulrichsen (eds.). The Transformation of the Gulf: Politics, Economics & the Global Order. London: Routledge (p. 56).
 
24
National Human Rights Committee. (2006). Annual Report for Human Rights in Qatar. National Human Rights Committee.
 
25
Kinninmont, J. (2013). Citizenship in the Gulf. In A. Echague (ed.). The Gulf States and Arab Uprisings. Spain: Fride & Gulf Research Centre (pp. 52–54).
 
26
Diwan, K. (2016). Gulf Societies in Transition: National Identity and National Projects in the Arab Gulf States. Workshop Report #13. The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (p. 5).
 
27
Kechichian, J. (2001). Unity on the Arabian Peninsula. In J. Kechichian (ed.). Iran, Iraq and the Arab Gulf States. New York: Palgrave (p. 296).
 
28
Peterson, J. (2012). The GCC States: Participation, Opposition, and the Fraying of the Social Contract. London: Kuwait Programme on Development, Governance and Globalisation in the Gulf States.
 
29
Ross, M. (2011). Will Oil Drown the Arab Spring? Democracy and the Resource Curse. Foreign Affairs, 90:5 (p. 4).
 
30
Osborne, S. (2015). Six Gulf States Will Start Taxing People for the First Time. The Independent, 10 December 2015.
 
31
Althani, M. (2012). The Arab Spring and the Gulf States: Time to Embrace Change. Suffolk: Profile Books (p. 6).
 
32
Tapper, R. (2018). Tribalism in Middle Eastern States: A 21st Century Anachronism. London School of Economics, MEC Blog. Available at http://​blogs.​lse.​ac.​uk/​mec/​2018/​07/​11/​tribalism-in-middle-eastern-states-a-twenty-first-century-anachronism/​.
 
33
Vohra, R. (2017). The Impact of Oil Prices on GCC Economies. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 8:2 (p. 12).
 
34
Al-Khater, A. (2017). Gulf States: Between the Choices of the State, the Tribe or the Band. Al-Watan Newspaper, 27 May 2017.
 
35
Weiner, S. (2016). Kinship Politics in the Gulf Arab States. The Arab Gulf States Institute, Issue Paper #7 (pp. 1–2).
 
36
Ibid.
 
37
Patrick, N. (2016). Saudi Arabia and Jordan. In N. Patrick (ed.). Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy: Conflict & Cooperation. New York: I.B. Taurus.
 
38
Robertson, N. (2012). Saudi Support for Syrian Rebels Shaped by Tribal, Religious Ties. CNN, 20 August 2012.
 
39
Dorsey, J. (2017). Saudi–UAE Push to Mobilise Tribes Against Qatari Emir. International Policy Digest, 20 November 2017.
 
40
Egypt Today. (2017). Tamim Is Destroying the Qatari Social Fabric: Al-Murrah Tribe. Egypt Today, 2 September 2017.
 
41
Al-Murra tribe in Qatar Reaffirms Loyalty to Emir. Qatar Tribune, 18 June 2017.
 
42
Majdi, W. (2017). The Case of Al-Murra Between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Masr al-Arabia, 19 September 2017.
 
43
Al-Hakeem, M. (2005). Thousands in Saudi Arabia After Losing Citizenship. Gulf News, 1 August 2005.
 
44
Hubbard, B. (2016). Saudi Arabia, Blamed for Spawning Jihadists, Is Again Their Target. The New York Times, 6 July 2016.
 
45
Castells, ‘Globalization’ (p. 11).
 
46
Kao, K. (2015). Do Jordanian Tribes Challenge or Strengthen the State? Washington Post, 28 May 2015.
 
47
This seems to be the case specifically in weak states, failed states, and in states suffering or heading to civil war. For more, see Osaghae (2009), Barfield (2004), Bellina et al. (2009), Duyvesten (2017).
 
Metadata
Title
Tribe and Tribalism: The Trojan Horse of GCC States?
Author
Maryam Al-Kuwari
Copyright Year
2019
Publisher
Springer Singapore
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-6314-6_3

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